A technology company that credits its beginnings to the Palawan State University’s (PSU) business startup incubator is set to launch a transponder device that will aid local fishermen at sea.
The device, called the FAME Transponder, conducted its pilot test with Palawan fishermen in 2019. Developers learned about the various challenges local fishermen faced at sea from feedback given by the subjects.
Futuristic Aviation and Maritime Enterprise, Inc. (FAME) is on its way to having its maritime transponder device, or a tracking device using near-field-communication (NFC) technology, accredited by the Bureau of Fisheries and Agriculture (BFAR) for mass use.
“Mayroon na kasing batas na nire-require na ng BFAR na lahat ng mga fishermen ay dapat may tracking device habang lumalaot sila. Ito ang Republic Act (RA) 10654, or an Act to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing, which amended the Fisheries Code in 2014,” FAME founder and CEO Arcelio “Junjun” Fetizanan said in an interview Thursday. “Ngayon, we are in the process of getting accreditation from the BFAR so fishing vessels can use the device.
The FAME Transponder conducted its pilot test on Palawan fishermen in 2019. The developers tested how to locate the fishermen at sea using Global Positioning System (GPS) and the NFC technology, where the device was attached to the boat and families could view their movement on a computer or a tablet.
“Very valuable ang mga natutunan namin sa mga fishermen, lalo na pagdating sa safety nila at sa mga challenges nila sa laot. In fact, may isang time, although hindi ito sa Palawan, na na-trace ang location ng mga fishermen pagkatapos lumubog ang kanilang bangka. With this kind of technology, makakatulong talaga para sa mga fishermen at sa mga kamag-anak nila,” said Fetizanan.
They were also able to conduct a test on the movement of tuna by attaching NFC cards to the tails of the fish to track down their movements and determine where they would flock together.
“Sa pag-track ng movements ng mga isdang huhulihin, hindi na mahihirapan ang mga fishermen na hanapin pa kung saan marami ang huli,” Fetizanan added.
FAME, Inc.’s transponder device traces its beginnings to a 2015 call for business proposals by the Palawan International Technology Business Incubator (PITBI), a sub-office of PSU’s Research and Development Office.
“Though FAME and its founders were based in Manila at the time, nakita namin ang call for proposals sa PITBI, which was also relatively new at the time. ‘Yong event na iyon was called ‘Geeks on the Beach,” where we presented our product and developed it,” said Fetizanan.
FAME is now considered by the PITBI as one of its mature startups, according to officer-in-charge Evangeline Tapar in an earlier interview.